Archive for May, 2023

Posted Friday, May 12th, 2023 by Barry

Nellie the Nurse (1945) 1

International Nurses Day commemorates the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, May 12, 1820.

While Nightingale is noted in name, the day celebrates the dedication and duty all nurses demonstrate. International Nurses Week is a week-long celebration in Australia, Canada and the United States.

Our four-color face on the day is Atlas Comics – better known as Marvel – Nellie the Nurse.

Nellie the Nurse (1945) 1

Nellie’s original title ran from December 1945 to October 1952 including 36 issues. Her profession was evident in title only on most covers and in most stories. Nellie didn’t appear in her nurse togs until issue six and then only appeared in them on half of the remaining issues, normally in a flirtatious fashion.

She would later be lumped with Marvel’s post-war, silly/sexy sirens of the workplace characters. Others included Tillie the Toiler, Debbie Dean, Dixie Dugan and Flyin’ Jean.

Nellie would make a return in 1957 for one issue, this time as a blond, but still the object of ogles from the male staff and patients.

Today we can appreciate nurses for their assiduity rather than appearance. The average nurse walks four miles a day in what is considered the most honest and ethical profession in the United States. For those seeking a career, nurses, on average, earn $73,300 a year.

Nightingale is held in regard for her essential work during the Crimean War of the 1850s. During her first assignment, Nightingale was appalled at the conditions of the hospital. She took it upon herself to ensure the facility was clean and stocked with medical supplies and food.

Her experiences there would lead to a life of health care reform and nursing. In 1860, she opened the Nightingale School of Nursing in St. Thomas’ Hospital in London.

International Nurses Day has been celebrated since 1965.